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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Hold Steady; Crude Oil Declines
by Tom Moeller  May 16, 2017

Regular gasoline prices held at $2.37 per gallon last week (5.7% y/y), down from $2.45 at the end of April. Prices remained lower than the 2014 high of $3.71 per gallon. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price declined to $2.21 per gallon from $2.24 and remained down from the $2.71 early-January high.

WTI crude oil prices fell to $47.06 per barrel last week (+3.5% y/y) versus $47.21 in the prior week. Prices were down from $53.18 four weeks ago. Prices rallied to $48.85 yesterday, and remained lower than the $54.02 high in the third week of February. Brent crude oil prices held steady w/w at $49.99 per barrel last week and were $51.29 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices improved to $3.12/mmbtu last week (56.7% y/y), then rose to $3.27 yesterday.

Last week, gasoline demand fell 2.4% y/y, while total petroleum product demand declined 1.6% y/y. Gasoline inventories were little changed y/y and inventories of all petroleum products eased 0.4% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries increased 6.3% y/y in the last four weeks.

The energy price data are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy. The petroleum demand and inventory figures are from the Oil & Gas Journal Weekly. These data can be found in Haver's WEEKLY database. The daily figures are in DAILY and greater detail on prices, demand and production, along with regional breakdowns, are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Energy Prices 05/15/17 05/08/17 05/01/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.37 2.37 2.41 5.7 2.31 2.03 2.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 47.06 47.21 49.20 3.5 43.22 48.90 93.64
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 3.12 3.10 3.04 56.7 2.49 2.62 4.37
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